How long does it take two rubbish blokes to debug a simple problem in some software?

Back in the days when I used Blogger blog software, it wasn’t unknown for a blog to be lost as Blogger crashed part way through, and those who still use Blogger tell me it is still common. That’s one of the reasons why, when I set Jenny up with her own blog, I gave her WordPress, partly because it’s what I use, so I could fault diagnose more easily, and partly because I didn’t want her to have the frustration of Blogger crashing.

As she discovered the other day, it is possible, under certain circumstances, for WordPress to do the same thing, so you can imagine how pleased I was to discover that a reputable software provider – Pizza Scoffing Loon Software Inc – had produced an add-on for WordPress that makes it easy to recover lost posts. I obtained a copy of the stuff, and set about installing it on my own WordPress, the theory being that having got some experience of it, I’d then have a week to put it on Jenny’s blog while she’s enjoying the sunshine on Faultyventilation.

In short, it didn’t work.

Luckily the software developer is available on MSN and between us we tweaked and fiddled, making minor updates to the software, trying and testing. It wasn’t helped by Jenny keeping ringing me to ask for advice on getting her kitten photos on line, but I’m sure you’ll agree the results are worth it. Every tweak was tested, and it resolutely failed to work.

To cut a long story short, eventually the talented young software author spotted that when I’d installed the patch, I’d carefully followed the instructions through to the end – and not done the last thing. Once we had that sorted, it was easy.

So the answer to the question, “How long does it take two rubbish blokes to debug a simple problem in some software?” is, about four hours.

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